Many of the Eli Review team will be headed to Computers & Writing 2016 in Rochester, NY. We’re presenting at panels (even giving a keynote address!), but we’ll also be looking forward to sitting in on sessions.
We’ve identified some panels related to our interests as a learning technology company: specifically, peer learning pedagogy, peer learning networks analytics, corpus research, user-centered design, and professional development. We’ll see you there!
Keynote: Jeff Grabill
Do We Learn (writing) Best Together or Alone? Your Life with Robots
Computers and networks have transformed writing, making publication and distribution easy and instant and creating a culture in which we write more now than at any point in human history. Technologies are changing the teaching of writing as well. Some enhance learning and professionalize teacher work. Others automate. Robots are here.
In this talk, I will lay out an argument that we are at an important moment in the recent revolution in writing. As educators, we are provided with compelling opportunities to provide students with more personalized learning, better feedback, and improved outcomes. But the technologies that drive many of these opportunities—the Robots—are difficult to understand. Yet they must be understood as pedagogies, not precisely as technologies. Given that, what sorts of pedagogical choices are we making as educators? What sorts of choices should we make?
I will speak not as a luddite or as one naive about learning or technologies. I have practiced with technologies for writing for nearly as long as there have been computers and networks available for writing. My colleagues and I have also invented writing technologies and helped spin-out an educational technology company from my university. I am implicated in my own provocation. Given that, we have a set of pedagogical choices ahead of us and a set of choices related to how we understand teacher and student work—do we learn best together or alone?
Thursday, May 19 – Workshops
Computational Rhetorics: Crossing Computer Assistive Analysis and Computers and Writing Research
In this workshop, we will introduce participants to methods for using network graph analysis and machine-learning algorithms to assist in large-scale and rapid analysis of a large text corpus for scholarly research and/or service-oriented websites. The workshop will be framed by questions and issues of interest to computers and writing and writing studies scholars such as:
- What rhetorical moves are important to the formation and/or stabilization of a given genre?
- What kinds of rhetorical features might we expect to see from experienced or skilled rhetors vs. novices or learners?
- How do the prevalence, co-occurrence, or interrelationships among text features influence their uptake or reception?
Programmatically, this workshop in seeks to guide participants through the process of applying machine learning and other automated analytics to research projects undertaken in the fields of computers and writing and rhetoric. These methods are hewn from computer science and the digital humanities, but also from the workshop leaders’ own work developing web apps founded upon machine learning techniques and existing software libraries.
Crossing the ON-Line: Achieving Online Writing Instruction Goals
Workshop #w3 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Room Wilson 115
While a writing instructor’s face-to-face pedagogy is grounded in experience, a teacher new to online writing instruction (OWI) may struggle to reach across boundaries to achieve their online pedagogical goals. Beth Hewett, in The Online Writing Conference, states, “…each instructor must find his or her own effective voice and approach. In fact, a genuine instructional voice increases the likelihood that the communications will positively intervene with students and their writing where needed” (10). Developing one’s voice and approach takes effort and is usually done through trial and error due to the many elements that make up effective OWI. The workshop will focus on three areas of OWI: course design, instruction, and feedback.
Friday, May 20 – Panels
Object-Oriented Research Methods and Methodologies for Open, Participatory Learning
Session #c8 – 3:00pm to 4:15pm – Room Salerno 206
As learning spaces continue to fold out of and into the internet, happening across distal configurations and various platforms, and involving a diversity of learners, writers, and makers, we need new research methodologies that help us understand the constellations and relationships that emerge among composing and composed bodies, objects, tools, and practices. This panel explores two such object-oriented research methodologies that both build on AND disrupt current understandings of network theory. Each group will discuss its methods and methodologies–flattening (DeLanda, 2002), unflattening (Sousanis, 2015), recombinant folding (Munster, 2011), object orientating (Ahmed, 2006), and carpentry (Bogost, 2012)– and share its findings when using the respective methodologies to examine massive, open, online connectivist cMOOCs.
Digital Tools, Access and Writing
Session #c11 – 3:00pm to 4:15pm – Room Nursing 102
This panel explores the affordances of Google Apps, Blog vs Word Processing, Twine for journalism simulation, and ways LMS shapes students’ receipt of instructor feedback.
Boundary Work: Designing a Composition Archive for Research and Mentoring Across Disciplines
Session #d2 – 4:30pm to 5:45pm – Room Nursing 102
In this roundtable, our team of scholar-researchers describes our approach to building a web-based archive of student writing and associated teaching materials for corpus linguistics, writing research, and professional development. We highlight the principles which guide our approaches to usability, design, and infrastructure, then invite conversation.
The “How” and the “What”: Finding Methodological Alliances across Rhetorical History, Technical Communication and Digital Rhetoric
Session #d3 – 4:30pm to 5:45pm – Room Salerno 104
This panel presents research on the use of corpus methods for the study of genre in histories of rhetoric, technical communication, and digital rhetoric. Across our presentations, we argue for the benefits of corpus analysis as a versatile method for measuring rhetorical stability and situational flux. We will focus on the methods of constructing and manipulating corpora and what kinds of data they yield to further knowledge on these respective topics: rhetorical dimensions of genre evolution; content framework development in technical writing; and gender performance in social media.
Saturday, May 21 – Panels
Digital technologies and meaningful relationships: Connecting within and beyond the writing classroom
Session #e3 – 8:30am to 9:45am – Room Nursing 103
In this roundtable, five writing instructors share their experiences using digital technologies to build meaningful relationships. Specifically, five relationship types are explored: student-to-self, student-to-community, student-to-culture, instructor-to-student, and faculty-to-faculty. Each instructor offers tangible activities and approaches instructors can utilize in their own teaching practices.
Collaboration in the Cloud: Tracing Pedagogical Practices through Networked Infrastructure
Session #e9 – 8:30am to 9:45am – Room Salerno 206
Instructors use cloud storage to collect and share materials, but what is lost during this process? This panel offers ways to trace pedagogical practices through networked infrastructure by understanding the ways we teach and collaborate in technologically rich environs. The panel should be of interest to those who now (or in the future may) build pedagogical archives for mentoring or training new writing teachers to use technology in their classes, and writing program administrators who need to make visible to their institutions how technologically rich pedagogies operate.
The Contingent Labor of Online Course Delivery: Designing, Implementing, and Maintaining Digital Innovation in Writing Programs
Session #g2 – 3:00pm – 4:15pm – Room Salerno 105
The implementation of online and hybrid courses involves multiple stakeholders with very different concerns and investments in online education. As a result, discussions of online learning can provide a unique forum for investigating the power dynamics and relationships that are central to higher education, particularly with concern to the needs of the contingent or temporary laborers who teach many of these courses. Our panel gives voice to the contingent labor centrally involved in the development of hybrid and online courses.
Tools for Writing Researchers, by Writing Researchers
Session #g5 – 3:00pm – 4:15pm – Room Salerno 104
Writing researchers regularly have to hack tools designed for other purposes in order to gather and process data about participants. Very few tools are actually designed with writing researchers in mind, let alone are responsive to researcher needs, so there are real questions to be answered about what a tool would look like that natively supported the interests of writing researchers while treating student humanely as participants in that research.
Eli Review, invented at Michigan State University, is one tool where these interests can be played out in the wild. Designed and maintained by composition and rhetoric scholars, Eli Review has added and evolved features specifically in response to researcher needs and continues to look for ways to grow to support not only individual teacher researchers but a community of scholars in rhetoric and composition.
The Orthos Project: Testing the Boundaries Between Hybrid and Computer Assisted Learning in First-Year Composition
Session #h6 – 4:30pm to 5:45pm – Room Pioch 117
This mini workshop introduces participants to strategies developed for a cluster of first-year composition courses examining the crossing wires between hybrid pedagogy and computer assisted writing instruction (including developments such as adaptive or personalized learning, calibrated peer review, and “crowdsourced” grading). Our approach to these courses involved collaborative design, pooling resources, shared course management, and gamification.
Sunday, May 22 – Panels
CMS, LMS and Open Source system configurations and challenges
Session #j6 – 10:00am to 11:15am – Room Basil 214
This panel includes presentations on CMS and online peer review.
Walking the Wire: Empowering a Strong Balance between Digital Communities and Support
Session #j8 – 10:00am to 11:15am – Room Salerno 105
The panel will offer practical information that attendees can apply directly to OWI, regardless of the situation at their institution. The speakers will share their experiences of having been placed in charge of teaching online with little or no experience, or having been asked to train others to teach online at early stages in their careers when they had little or no previous experience with online instruction. The speakers in this panel want to reiterate this importance and maintain that proper ongoing support and training is needed for instructors to be successful in OWI.